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How to Spend 3 Days in Queenstown

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How to Spend 3 Days in Queenstown
Queenstown is known for its bucket-list adventure activities, such as bungee jumping and white-water rafting. With three days to fill, you can not only get your thrills, but you can also take some time to slow down and relax, and even take a trip to Milford Sound. Here’s how to maximize your time on a 3-day stay in Queenstown.

Day 1: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
On day one, try out some of those nerve-testing adventures for which Queenstown is so famous. Feel a blitz of adrenaline as you sway above the canyon floor on the Nevis Swing, take a leap of faith from a bungee platform, or sign up for an unforgettable package adventure that includes jet boating on the Shotover River, white-water rafting, and a helicopter ride over Skippers Canyon. If all that seems a little too thrilling for your taste, try a 4WD tour, which follows off-road trails and makes stops for scenic photo ops, short strolls, and even picnics. 

Come evening, head to Queenstown’s Steamer Wharf—a dining and entertainment precinct near the lake’s edge—where you can enjoy dinner with a view at one of several restaurants and pubs. 

Day 2: Sail, Stroll, and Sip
After an action-packed first day, slow things down with some more leisurely activities. Start with a tour of Central Otago, New Zealand’s southernmost wine region. Guided wine tours include tastings at cellar doors, and allow visitors to sample pinot noirs and white wines made using riesling, pinot gris, and gewürztraminer grapes—without having to worry about transportation. Lunch, typically in the form of a gourmet sharing platter, is usually included.

Back in town, embark on a cruise aboard a vintage coal-fired steamship. Sail across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak High Country Farm, where you can watch sheep-shearing demonstrations, wander around the farm’s lakeside gardens, and dine on an al fresco barbecued feast of roasted meats and seafood while admiring views of the Remarkables mountain range. Look for the stars twinkling overhead during the return boat ride to Queenstown. 

Day 3: Experience Fiordland National Park
Among the most popular day trip destinations from Queenstown is Fiordland National Park, a spectacularly scenic region within a UNESCO World Heritage Site and characterized by high peaks, sheer cliffs, and mirror-clear waters. Most day trips to the park include a sightseeing cruise around either Milford or Doubtful sound, during which you can admire the dramatic scenery and spot wildlife such as seals, penguins, and dolphins. Day trips by bus typically last upward of 12 hours, though there are half-day trips by plane instead. For a closer-to-town day trip with that scenic wow-factor, consider a guided hike in Mt. Aspiring National Park.

Return to Queenstown in time to ride the Skyline gondola up Bob’s Peak for a memorable buffet dinner at the mountaintop Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar, where large windows frame views over Queenstown, Coronet Peak, the Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu. 
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Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise from QueenstownDay Cruises

Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise from Queenstown

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Join a Doubtful Sound cruise from Queenstown and discover this alpine gem nestled in the UNESCO-listed Fiordland National Park. Traveling by coach, take a ferry across Lake Manapouri and cross over Wilmot Pass for your catamaran cruise. Admire the fiord’s vivid beauty as you search for dolphins, fur seals, and penguins amid a dramatic landscape of soaring granite peaks and crystal-clear waters. 
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$119.00 
From  
US$119.00 
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Central Otago Wine Tour from Queenstown - Includes 4 Vineyards, Lunch & WineDay Trips

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Central Otago Wine Tour from Queenstown - Includes 4 Vineyards, Lunch & Wine

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Pair the fine wines of Central Otago with a gourmet lunch platter on this small-group wine-tasting tour from Queenstown. Visit at boutique wineries during your tour and drive through verdant valleys and vine-clad foothills rich in gold mining history. Numbers are limited to 12 people to ensure an intimate experience with other wine lovers.
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$124.91 
US$138.80
US$13.89 savings
From  
US$124.91 
US$138.80
US$13.89 savings
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  • 5 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Milford Sound Coach Tour with Lunch from QueenstownDay Cruises

Milford Sound Coach Tour with Lunch from Queenstown

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Upon reaching Milford Sound, board a luxurious catamaran. Peer through panoramic windows of a luxury coach while you travel through the UNESCO-listed Fiordland National Park with a guide, before a memorable sightseeing cruise by Mitre Peak and the magnificent cliff-side waterfalls of Milford Sound.
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  • 12 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$167.96 
From  
US$167.96 
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  • 12 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Routeburn Track Guided Hike (Full Day)Hiking

Routeburn Track Guided Hike (Full Day)

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Hike a section of the Routeburn Track, one of the New Zealand Great Walks, on a guided day trip from Queenstown. This premier tramping trail is located in Mt. Aspiring National Park, part of UNESCO World Heritage Site of Te Wahipounamu. You’ll trek at a moderate pace up a gradual incline toward the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps, learning about the regional flora from your informative guide. Numbers are limited to 12 on this small-group tour, which includes snacks, lunch and round-trip hotel transport by mini-coach.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$392.31 
Price varies by group size
From  
US$392.31 
Price varies by group size
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Skippers Canyon 4WD Tour from QueenstownNature and Wildlife

Skippers Canyon 4WD Tour from Queenstown

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Leave bustling Queenstown behind for the scenic beauty of Skippers Canyon on a half-day 4WD tour of the historic gorge. An experienced guide traverses Gorge Road and follows an old mining route toward Coronet Peak and into Skippers Canyon for outstanding views over the Wakatipu Basin and the Shotover River. Enjoy short walks and stop for scrumptious morning or afternoon tea including chilled wine, cookies and homemade cheese.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$125.54 
From  
US$125.54 
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation


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